September 2011 One night in the Serra de Estrela

We’d just bought a new supa dupa BIG tent and so to test it out we went up to the Serra da Estrela for a night. We weren’t disappointed – either with the landscape which was stunning, or the tent which was massive. Only problem was, I had mislaid the stopper to our blow up mattress so it was a night spent on the hard ground. Just as well it was just the one night. The campsite we found, Covao d'Ametade, was right underneath Torre, the highest point on mainland Portugal and at the head of the huge glacial valley which marks the source of the river Zezere which flows not far away from our house. As it was quite late in the season there were only three other campers there and so we had plenty of space. (click on a thumbnail to view full size)

After rather a rough night on the cold hard earth we emerged from the tent to a glorious day. First up me and the hairy one indulged in a bit of geocaching, hiding a cache just above the campsite. This was at the start of a walk which took us over a nearby hill and then around and to the bottom of the glacial valley (Vale de Zezere). There was a map at the entrance to the campsite which said it would take about 2 hours. However, someone had obviously had moved the track as it ended up being a three hour slog under a boiling sun. I can certainly say that getting our feet in that cool mountain stream at the end was just heaven!